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Slack-for-engineers Mattermost on open source and data sovereignty
Thursday, 26 May 2022 19:15

HTTP/2 200 date: Fri, 27 May 2022 02:00:16 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/ac2554e1c6edfc9a49ca9703b64913c8f2c4c8c0/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/6eb9252347b9b28d0e1e546b91635458c3c88acb/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/6eb9252347b9b28d0e1e546b91635458c3c88acb/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Fri, 27 May 2022 02:00:16 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 711b27efeb783773-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400 Open source chat plat Mattermost CTO talks data sovereignty • The Register

Control and access are becoming a hot button for orgs


Interview "It's our data, it's our intellectual property. Being able to migrate it out those systems is near impossible... It was a real frustration for us."

These were the words of communication and collaboration platform Mattermost's founder and CTO, Corey Hulen, speaking to The Register about open source, sovereignty and audio bridges.

"Some of the history of Mattermost is exactly that problem," says Hulen of the issue of closed source software. "We were using proprietary tools – we were not a collaboration platform before, we were a games company before – [and] we were extremely frustrated because we couldn't get our intellectual property out of those systems..."

He adds: "So we ... think of Mattermost as having two core principles: One is easily understandable, because everyone talks about it – they know it – which is open source.

"The source code is open, you can go and modify it, do it, whatever you want. Add to it. You don't like what we're doing? Fork it and go do what you want."

Data sovereignty

Controlling where one's data is stored is coming under increasing scrutiny from regulators, making communication and collaboration a stickier problem for organizations that want control and access to their data.

The comms platform facilitates chatting with a colleague halfway across the world, but businesses might well be thinking: where is our data right now?

Hulen says he thinks of the data sovereignty issue, what he sees as Mattermost's second core principle, as equally as important.

Slack smackback: There's no IRC in team (software), say open-sourcers

READ MORE

"So in our world it's your data, we want you to own it, right? We don't want to be locked in. We specifically chose sort of MySQL technology for that reason.

"It's a schema in the database, there's no secret sauce to it, you can hook up anything to it and get your data out or do your own joins, queries or views on it, there's no 'special' schema to it."

Mattermost says while its many messaging rivals require a hop into their respective clouds, Mattermost's solution is as happy on-premises or self-hosted as it is in a secure cloud.

"Europeans in general," Hulen continues, "really value their privacy. We Americans really haven't caught on to that kind of concept yet… not as across the board as it is here." (The Reg was speaking to Hulen at the Kubecon event in Valencia, Spain.)

Hulen adds: "Not only privacy is very important, data sovereignty is very important. And so those are all the things I think sort of play to our strengths. Mattermost is open source, it can run on-prem, it also runs in our cloud.

"But if you run it on prem, you can run it in your own datacenters behind your own firewalls, and that's where a lot of our successes come from."

Hulen highlights government institutions and private customers keen on the approach.

But what of standards, such as EU digital sovereignty project Gaia-X?

"We always like to try to participate in standards and stuff like that," says Hulen, "But at the end of the day, you know, we're open source. I don't think you can get a better standard than that…"

Mattermost is keen on integrations. "We do a lot of things to make integrations easier," says Hulen, "Like, as an example, our web hooks and slash commands are binary level protocol compatible with Slack.

"So more than likely if you have a Slack webhook or slash command that works, it'll just work in Mattermost. So we've put a lot of effort towards stuff like that as well, just making integrations sort of seamless and easy.

Not so easy, however, is the conferencing taken for granted by many during the sudden shift to remote working. To that end, audio conferencing and screen-sharing is very much on the cards for an impending release, even if video will not be joining the party.

"What we found from our user base," says Hulen, "especially because they're really doing things like incident response and crisis management, [is that] people just want a war-room. They want an audio bridge. They just want to get everybody into the channel and start working the issue and be able to have an audio bridge right there with screen-share."

So no funky backgrounds or amusing video effects. Just a collaboration platform that won't give regulators the jitters. ®


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Broadcom has signaled its $61 billion acquisition of VMware will involve a “rapid transition from perpetual licenses to subscriptions.”

That's according to Tom Krause, president of the Broadcom Software Group, on Thursday's Broadcom earnings call. He was asked how the semiconductor giant plans to deliver on its guidance that VMware will add approximately $8.5 billion of pro forma EBITDA to Broadcom within three years of the deal closing – significant growth given VMware currently produces about $4.7 billion. And subscriptions was the answer.

Krause also repeatedly said Broadcom intends to invest in VMware’s key product portfolio and is pleased to be acquiring a sales organization and channel relationships that give it reach Broadcom does not currently enjoy.

Continue readingHow to reprogram Apple AirTags, play custom sounds Voltage glitch here, glitch there, now you can fiddle with location disc's firmware

At the Workshop on Offensive Technologies 2022 (WOOT) on Thursday, security researchers demonstrated how to meddle with AirTags, Apple's coin-sized tracking devices.

Thomas Roth (Leveldown Security), Fabian Freyer (Independent), Matthias Hollick (TU Darmstadt, SEEMOO), and Jiska Classen (TU Darmstadt, SEEMOO) describe their exploration of Apple's tracking tech in a paper [PDF] titled, "AirTag of the Clones: Shenanigans with Liberated Item Finders."

The boffins discuss tools they've developed and released to advance the exploration of AirTag hardware and firmware, made possible by existing imperfections.

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In what is either a creepy, weird spin on Robin Hood or something from a Black Mirror episode, we're told a ransomware gang is encrypting data and then forcing each victim to perform three good deeds before they can download a decryption tool.

The so-called GoodWill ransomware group, first identified by CloudSEK's threat intel team, doesn't appear to be motivated by money. Instead, it is claimed, they require victims to do things such as donate blankets to homeless people, or take needy kids to Pizza Hut, and then document these activities on social media in photos or videos.

"As the threat group's name suggests, the operators are allegedly interested in promoting social justice rather than conventional financial reasons," according to a CloudSEK analysis of the gang. 

Continue reading

Microsoft Build Microsoft Azure on Thursday revealed it will use AMD's top-tier MI200 Instinct GPUs to perform “large-scale” AI training in the cloud.

“Azure will be the first public cloud to deploy clusters of AMD's flagship MI200 GPUs for large-scale AI training,” Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott said during the company’s Build conference this week. “We've already started testing these clusters using some of our own AI workloads with great performance.”

AMD launched its MI200-series GPUs at its Accelerated Datacenter event last fall. The GPUs are based on AMD’s CDNA2 architecture and pack 58 billion transistors and up to 128GB of high-bandwidth memory into a dual-die package.

Continue readingNew York City rips out last city-owned public payphones Y'know, those large cellphones fixed in place that you share with everyone and have to put coins in. Y'know, those metal disks representing...

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"NYC's last free-standing payphones were removed today; they'll be replaced with a Link, boosting accessibility and connectivity across the city," LinkNYC said via Twitter.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, "Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access!"

Continue readingCheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

"ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

Continue reading
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    Part of the issue stemmed from the planned version 7 release, a key element of which, according to a post by the steering council "was to significantly reduce the boilerplate needed at the top of your code, by enabling a lot of widely used modules / pragmas."

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HTTP/2 200 date: Fri, 27 May 2022 02:00:16 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/ac2554e1c6edfc9a49ca9703b64913c8f2c4c8c0/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/6eb9252347b9b28d0e1e546b91635458c3c88acb/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/6eb9252347b9b28d0e1e546b91635458c3c88acb/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Fri, 27 May 2022 02:00:16 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 711b27efeb783773-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400 Open source chat plat Mattermost CTO talks data sovereignty • The Register

Control and access are becoming a hot button for orgs


Interview "It's our data, it's our intellectual property. Being able to migrate it out those systems is near impossible... It was a real frustration for us."

These were the words of communication and collaboration platform Mattermost's founder and CTO, Corey Hulen, speaking to The Register about open source, sovereignty and audio bridges.

"Some of the history of Mattermost is exactly that problem," says Hulen of the issue of closed source software. "We were using proprietary tools – we were not a collaboration platform before, we were a games company before – [and] we were extremely frustrated because we couldn't get our intellectual property out of those systems..."

He adds: "So we ... think of Mattermost as having two core principles: One is easily understandable, because everyone talks about it – they know it – which is open source.

"The source code is open, you can go and modify it, do it, whatever you want. Add to it. You don't like what we're doing? Fork it and go do what you want."

Data sovereignty

Controlling where one's data is stored is coming under increasing scrutiny from regulators, making communication and collaboration a stickier problem for organizations that want control and access to their data.

The comms platform facilitates chatting with a colleague halfway across the world, but businesses might well be thinking: where is our data right now?

Hulen says he thinks of the data sovereignty issue, what he sees as Mattermost's second core principle, as equally as important.

Slack smackback: There's no IRC in team (software), say open-sourcers

READ MORE

"So in our world it's your data, we want you to own it, right? We don't want to be locked in. We specifically chose sort of MySQL technology for that reason.

"It's a schema in the database, there's no secret sauce to it, you can hook up anything to it and get your data out or do your own joins, queries or views on it, there's no 'special' schema to it."

Mattermost says while its many messaging rivals require a hop into their respective clouds, Mattermost's solution is as happy on-premises or self-hosted as it is in a secure cloud.

"Europeans in general," Hulen continues, "really value their privacy. We Americans really haven't caught on to that kind of concept yet… not as across the board as it is here." (The Reg was speaking to Hulen at the Kubecon event in Valencia, Spain.)

Hulen adds: "Not only privacy is very important, data sovereignty is very important. And so those are all the things I think sort of play to our strengths. Mattermost is open source, it can run on-prem, it also runs in our cloud.

"But if you run it on prem, you can run it in your own datacenters behind your own firewalls, and that's where a lot of our successes come from."

Hulen highlights government institutions and private customers keen on the approach.

But what of standards, such as EU digital sovereignty project Gaia-X?

"We always like to try to participate in standards and stuff like that," says Hulen, "But at the end of the day, you know, we're open source. I don't think you can get a better standard than that…"

Mattermost is keen on integrations. "We do a lot of things to make integrations easier," says Hulen, "Like, as an example, our web hooks and slash commands are binary level protocol compatible with Slack.

"So more than likely if you have a Slack webhook or slash command that works, it'll just work in Mattermost. So we've put a lot of effort towards stuff like that as well, just making integrations sort of seamless and easy.

Not so easy, however, is the conferencing taken for granted by many during the sudden shift to remote working. To that end, audio conferencing and screen-sharing is very much on the cards for an impending release, even if video will not be joining the party.

"What we found from our user base," says Hulen, "especially because they're really doing things like incident response and crisis management, [is that] people just want a war-room. They want an audio bridge. They just want to get everybody into the channel and start working the issue and be able to have an audio bridge right there with screen-share."

So no funky backgrounds or amusing video effects. Just a collaboration platform that won't give regulators the jitters. ®


Other stories you might like

Broadcom has signaled its $61 billion acquisition of VMware will involve a “rapid transition from perpetual licenses to subscriptions.”

That's according to Tom Krause, president of the Broadcom Software Group, on Thursday's Broadcom earnings call. He was asked how the semiconductor giant plans to deliver on its guidance that VMware will add approximately $8.5 billion of pro forma EBITDA to Broadcom within three years of the deal closing – significant growth given VMware currently produces about $4.7 billion. And subscriptions was the answer.

Krause also repeatedly said Broadcom intends to invest in VMware’s key product portfolio and is pleased to be acquiring a sales organization and channel relationships that give it reach Broadcom does not currently enjoy.

Continue readingHow to reprogram Apple AirTags, play custom sounds Voltage glitch here, glitch there, now you can fiddle with location disc's firmware

At the Workshop on Offensive Technologies 2022 (WOOT) on Thursday, security researchers demonstrated how to meddle with AirTags, Apple's coin-sized tracking devices.

Thomas Roth (Leveldown Security), Fabian Freyer (Independent), Matthias Hollick (TU Darmstadt, SEEMOO), and Jiska Classen (TU Darmstadt, SEEMOO) describe their exploration of Apple's tracking tech in a paper [PDF] titled, "AirTag of the Clones: Shenanigans with Liberated Item Finders."

The boffins discuss tools they've developed and released to advance the exploration of AirTag hardware and firmware, made possible by existing imperfections.

Continue readingRansomware encrypts files, demands three good deeds to restore data Shut up and take ... poor kids to KFC?

In what is either a creepy, weird spin on Robin Hood or something from a Black Mirror episode, we're told a ransomware gang is encrypting data and then forcing each victim to perform three good deeds before they can download a decryption tool.

The so-called GoodWill ransomware group, first identified by CloudSEK's threat intel team, doesn't appear to be motivated by money. Instead, it is claimed, they require victims to do things such as donate blankets to homeless people, or take needy kids to Pizza Hut, and then document these activities on social media in photos or videos.

"As the threat group's name suggests, the operators are allegedly interested in promoting social justice rather than conventional financial reasons," according to a CloudSEK analysis of the gang. 

Continue reading

Microsoft Build Microsoft Azure on Thursday revealed it will use AMD's top-tier MI200 Instinct GPUs to perform “large-scale” AI training in the cloud.

“Azure will be the first public cloud to deploy clusters of AMD's flagship MI200 GPUs for large-scale AI training,” Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott said during the company’s Build conference this week. “We've already started testing these clusters using some of our own AI workloads with great performance.”

AMD launched its MI200-series GPUs at its Accelerated Datacenter event last fall. The GPUs are based on AMD’s CDNA2 architecture and pack 58 billion transistors and up to 128GB of high-bandwidth memory into a dual-die package.

Continue readingNew York City rips out last city-owned public payphones Y'know, those large cellphones fixed in place that you share with everyone and have to put coins in. Y'know, those metal disks representing...

New York City this week ripped out its last municipally-owned payphones from Times Square to make room for Wi-Fi kiosks from city infrastructure project LinkNYC.

"NYC's last free-standing payphones were removed today; they'll be replaced with a Link, boosting accessibility and connectivity across the city," LinkNYC said via Twitter.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, "Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access!"

Continue readingCheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

"ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

Continue reading
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    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
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    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading
  • Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger Unless anyone out there can make a better offer. Oh, Elon?

    Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.

    Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.

    Continue reading
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    The much-anticipated Perl 7 continues to twinkle in the distance although the final release of 5.36.0 is "just around the corner", according to the Perl Steering Council.

    Well into its fourth decade, the fortunes of Perl have ebbed and flowed over the years. Things came to a head last year, with the departure of former "pumpking" Sawyer X, following what he described as community "hostility."

    Part of the issue stemmed from the planned version 7 release, a key element of which, according to a post by the steering council "was to significantly reduce the boilerplate needed at the top of your code, by enabling a lot of widely used modules / pragmas."

    Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3lLxlz0